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World Bank Launches New Partnership Strategy with Uzbekistan

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WASHINGTON (World Bank press release) – The World Bank Group’s Board of Directors approved a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Uzbekistan, providing the framework for World Bank Group assistance to Uzbekistan between 2012 and 2015.

The new Strategy proposes a program linked to Uzbekistan’s development vision of reaching high middle-income status by mid-century. It was developed based on a broad dialogue with the Government of Uzbekistan and consultations with all development partners, including civil society organizations, academia, business communities, professional associations, and multilateral and bilateral donors.

Through implementation of the CPS, the World Bank intends to help enhance the key elements of the Government’s medium-term growth and development strategy: promoting efficiency, enhancing competitiveness, accelerating diversification, and ensuring social inclusion. A new financing envelope of US $1.3 billion – consisting of concessional International Development Association (IDA) credits and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loans – reflects the country’s development needs, its income level, economic prospects, economic management, poverty level, and performance of Bank-sponsored programs. It will support projects in the areas of water supply and sanitation, irrigation, energy, transport, and private sectors over the next four years. The Bank will also extend the on-going support for basic services in health and education.

Proposed analytical and advisory services aim to help Uzbekistan prepare a comprehensive sector-wide understanding of future development directions. Horticulture and energy sector strategy development is an example of such engagement. In addition, the CPS envisages a high-level joint strategy development exercise – “Uzbekistan Vision 2030”. This aims to help Uzbekistan define roadmaps to achieve its development goals in collaboration with Uzbek research institutes.

“The new CPS builds upon the positive experience of the previous Country Assistance Strategy for 2008-2011,” says Takuya Kamata, World Bank Country Manager for Uzbekistan. “Uzbekistan has a wide range of opportunities. It has a well educated, young population, which is a great asset. Uzbekistan has great potential in horticulture as well. Key elements of required economic reforms are, for example, to improve energy intensity and the investment climate. And, transparency and accountability in governance are critical for inclusive growth.”

Uzbekistan joined the World Bank in 1992. The World Bank currently has 10 active projects whose outstanding total commitment is about US $630 million.

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